LOS ANGELES -- Porsche’s second playground for sports car enthusiasts in the U.S. is now open for business.
Porsche Cars North America Inc.’s $60 million, 53-acre complex, in Carson, Calif., outside of Los Angeles and alongside the heavily traveled 405 Freeway, includes a 4.1-mile driver development track with eight training modules, a race-car exhibit and a fine-dining restaurant.
The intent is for consumers to experience the thrill of Porsche first hand even if they had never considered the brand before, said Detlev von Platen, Porsche’s global sales chief.
“You can’t encounter this sensation by just reading an ad or watching a commercial,” von Platen said. “This is why we are investing in Porsche experience centers around the globe, so people can personally learn what it means to drive a Porsche.”
As former CEO of Porsche Cars North America, von Platen spearheaded the investment in both the California center and the brand’s first U.S. experience center, which opened in 2015 in Atlanta. The Atlanta center is part of a $100 million investment that also included Porsche’s new U.S. headquarters.
With the new West Coast center, Porsche now has five experience centers worldwide, with a sixth scheduled to open in Shanghai in 2017. The company expects 50,000 visitors annually at the L.A. center. The Atlanta center had 36,000 visitors in its first 12 months.
Porsche AG CEO Oliver Blume said the Los Angeles center underscores the importance of California to the brand. California accounts for 23 percent of all Porsches sold in the U.S. If it were a separate country, California would be Porsche’s fifth-largest market.